Caudwell Marine about to shake-up F1 racing

Monster four-stroke racing engine to deliver 0-160kmh in four seconds

Caudwell Marine about to shake-up F1 racing
F1 racing about to get a shake-up

The heady world of UIM (Union Internationale Motonautique) F1 racing attracts the most advanced high speed catamarans but for some time now the organisers have been searching for a more environmentally acceptable engine for these staggeringly fast vessels.

Mercury two-strokes have dominated the class until now but a new aluminium, 3.5lt V6 developed by British company, Caudwell Marine, could take over as early as next year. That’s assuming early trials of the four-stroke turn out to be as promising as they seem.

With the V6 hooked up to an "Axis Drive" system developed by the same company, speed trials in South Africa showed the V6 capable of accelerating from 0 to 160kmh in about four seconds and hitting a top speed of around 228kmh.

Caudwell Marine says literally hundreds of innovations are part of the Axis Drive concept: "To redefine marine propulsion, the drive mounting method was designed to go through the transom and install as a single unit with the transom modified to a 45° angle, a move away from the traditional 13° deadrise found on most boats," says the company’s website.

"The patented mid-section gearbox allows the drive to move in yaw (steering), much like a POD drive, and in pitch (trim and tilt) without a U-joint or engine articulation. An electro-hydraulic clutch does the smooth and effortless shifting."

UIM is the sport’s governing body and is said to be delighted with the speed trials. The body is presently arranging more in-depth evaluation as a prelude to introducing the Nissan donk for the 2011 F1 season.

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